Different Types of Asphalt Seal Coats

An asphalt seal coat is a crucial protective layer that helps extend the life of asphalt pavement. By safeguarding against water, sunlight, and chemicals, it prevents deterioration. Let’s delve into the various types of asphalt seal coats, their unique benefits, and applications.

Different Types of Asphalt Seal Coats

1. Coal Tar Seal Coat

Coal tar seal coat, a traditional option, utilizes coal tar pitch, a byproduct from steel manufacturing. It offers excellent resistance to water, oil, gasoline, and UV rays. Its deep black color enhances the pavement’s appearance. However, it can release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) during application, leading to environmental concerns.

2. Asphalt Emulsion Seal Coat

Water-based asphalt emulsion seal coat suspends asphalt particles in water. Environmentally friendly due to fewer VOC emissions, it’s flexible and well-suited for varying temperatures. It adheres effectively, protecting against water infiltration and UV rays. Available in both refined coal tar and asphalt-based versions.

3. Oil-Based Seal Coat

Using a mix of asphalt and oil, oil-based seal coats are quick-drying and easy to apply. However, environmental issues and potential release of harmful chemicals into soil and water have reduced their popularity.

4. Acrylic Seal Coat

Acrylic seal coats, water-based with acrylic polymers, provide superb flexibility, adhesion, and UV resistance. Often used in high-traffic areas, they come in water-based and solvent-based options for diverse applications.

5. Polymer-Modified Seal Coat

Polymer-modified seal coats blend asphalt with polymers, enhancing elasticity, crack resistance, and durability. Ideal for heavily stressed areas, like highways and commercial lots.


Choosing the right asphalt seal coat depends on factors like the environment, application, and protection needed. While traditional options like coal tar and oil-based seal coats have been common, newer alternatives prioritize both performance and eco-friendliness. Asphalt emulsion, acrylic, and polymer-modified seal coats offer improved compatibility and durability. Consider the pavement’s condition, expected traffic, and local regulations to make the best choice. Effective seal coats can significantly prolong pavement life while maintaining a well-kept appearance and safeguarding against external elements.

Shital Gudale

I’m Shital Gudale, I am passionate about providing you with high-quality and informative content about asphalt paving, maintenance, and everything in between.

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